Space age and retro-futurism: a style that bridges time and space - industrial concept store

Space age and retro-futurism: a style that bridges time and space

by @industrialkonzept Team

Cover picture: Futuro House by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, installed in the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2011 © Vincent van der Heijden / Flickr

The Space Age style is making an impressive comeback, bringing retro-futurism back into the spotlight of the design world in an impressive way. Originating in the mid-20th century during the height of the space race, this aesthetic captures the optimism and fascination with space travel at the time.

Insight into modernism

The Space Age aesthetic is firmly rooted in modernism. This broader movement strove to break away from traditional design norms and embrace a forward-thinking, functional and rational approach to creativity. In this context, modernism provided a philosophical foundation that celebrated progress, innovation and the exploration of new frontiers - both in space and design.

Ball Chair

Ball Chair, 1963, designed by Eero Aarnio. © Eero Aarnio Originals

Pioneer of the space age and retro-futurism

Architects and designers of the Space Age era, such as Eero Saarinen, Joe Colombo and Buckminster Fuller, were strongly influenced by modernist principles. Their creations were characterized by novelty, efficiency and a departure from traditionally ornate styles. Other notable examples include Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair and Matti Suuronen's Futuro House - a prefabricated house in the shape of a flying saucer, of which less than 100 were made.

Matti Suuronen's Futuro House

Futuro House by Matti Suuronen. © Gili Merin

Matti Suuronen's Futuro House

Futuro House by Matti Suuronen. © Gili Merin

Matti Suuronen's Futuro House

Inside a Futuro House by Matti Suuronen. © Gili Merin

Space Age in contemporary design

Today, the Space Age aesthetic is often integrated into contemporary design, incorporating modern principles. One example of this is the Ego Hair Salon in Beijing, designed by IS Architecture and Design. This project is characterized by curved arches and nostalgic furniture that translate the space age aesthetic into modern design.

Ego Hair Salon

Ego Hair Salon, Beijing, 2021, designed by IS Architecture and Design. © Shawn Koh.

The revival of space age and retro-futurism in design reflects an enduring fascination with the interface between past and future. It harks back to a time when boundaries were pushed and new horizons conquered, and continues to inspire a new generation of designers and architects.

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